News & Analysis

  1. wearables

    Report: Young people are even less interested in “wearables” than the rest of us

    Despite $458 million in venture investment last year and a ton of ink spilled over the wearables “phenomenon,” Pando and others have reportedly extensively on consumers’ waning or nonexistent interest in smartwatches, fitness trackers, and other digital fashion statements. In April, the Guardian reported that many who received Samsung’s highly anticipated Galaxy Gear smartwatch with their most recent smartphone purchase were selling them off on eBay just months later. Meanwhile, basic, relatively cheap activity trackers still make up 97…
  3. Screen Shot 2014-08-20 at 12.42.30 PM

    Uber urges CA riders to oppose ridesharing bill, neglects to tell them what bill actually does

    Earlier this week Uber riders in California received a stirring email call to action from “Team Uber” It begins… Who would have thought California, the cradle for American innovation, would take the lead in killing it. Governor Brown is committed to leading California into the future, but some in the legislature are anonymously doing the bidding of trial lawyers, big taxi and insurance lobbyists. Their bill, AB 2293, will be voted on THIS WEEK and would kill ridesharing in the Golden State.
  4. Chimpanzee_seated_at_typewriter

    With its new music magazine, Medium still doesn’t know if it’s a platform or publication. And that’s OK.

    When discussing the newest crop of media startups, journalists often bring up the dichotomy of “platform vs publication.” Sites like Twitter are primarily thought of as platforms. While Twitter’s overlords will occasionally remove content if it violates copyright or good taste, the social network generally doesn’t operate with any central editorial vision or control — anyone can and will post whatever they want, save for a few exceptions. On the opposite end of the spectrum are sites like Pando, where writers pitch stories that are approved…
  5. Facebook funderal

    When you die in Delaware, your digital assets become part of your estate

    Delaware may be the legal home to most of this country’s corporations, but it’s never been known as a progressive or particularly innovative state. So it comes as somewhat of a shock that Delaware would be the first US state to pass legislation around what happens to a person’s digital assets when they die. But Gov. Jack Markell signed such a bill into law earlier this week. Under Delaware House of Representatives Bill 345, the Fiduciary Access to…
  7. twitter-mute

    Twitter suspends users that share graphic James Foley images — Unless you’re a New York tabloid

    Yesterday, in an horrific turn of events, the Islamic insurgent group ISIS announced it had killed captive American journalist James Foley, posting an extremely disturbing video to YouTube of his beheading. While that video has since been taken down, some graphic images depicting Foley’s death are still being shared on social media. And thanks to Twitter’s relatively recent emphasis on embedding images directly into tweets, it can create a jarring and highly uncomfortable experience for users who, for any number of valid reasons, do not…
  8. elsewhere

    PernixData brings in $35M Series C on the back of record revenue growth

    Server-side intelligence startup PernixData has raised $35 million in a Series C led Menlo Ventures, with participation from Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff, Silver Lake co-founder, Jim Davidson, and Seagate CEO Steve Luczo, as well as existing investor Kleiner Perkins Caulfield and Byers, Lightspeed Ventures, Lane Bess, Mark Leslie, and John Thompson. In addition to the large round and pedigreed investor roster, the company announced that it grew 42 revenue percent quarter-over-quarter for the preceding year, and grew its headcount by 160 percent.…
  9. anonymous_audience_final

    Startups Anonymous: How Anonymity Can Save a Founder’s Life

    Last week Startups Anonymous received an alarming submission from an fellow entreprenueur/founder — it was a suicide note. For many reasons, we chose not to publish the submission on our site, however here is an excerpt: “I am about to make my company a co-beneficiary of my life insurance. And, I will take my own life after that. I want to make it work for my investors and my company. I am done with this life. I am sorry.”

  11. cybersecurity

    Stealthy vArmour raises $36 million in 9 months on the promise of reinventing hybrid cloud security

    Stealthy cybersecurity startup vArmour may or may not be best in class at protecting corporate networks from intrusion. It’s hard to tell either way when the company refuses to share any details about its product or clientele. But if the three-year-old company’s success at fundraising and board construction is any indication, this must be some seriously impressive tech. VArmour today announced $36 million in combined Series B and C funding, raised a nine month span. The company’s $15 million…
  12. byttow2

    Brazil bans Secret over anonymous bullying, demands Apple and Google delete it from users’ phones

    A judge in Brazil has ordered Apple and other hosts to remove anonymous app Secret, apparently over fears of anonymous bullying. According to a story on Estadao (h/t Robert Cooper), which I’ve clumsily translated using Google Translate… The prosecutor Marcelo Zenkner opened civil action asking that the app stores from Google, Apple and Microsoft become unavailable the anonymous messaging app Secret to Brazilians. For the plaintiff Marcelo Zenkner, the prosecutor of the Holy Spirit, “the Brazilian…
  14. troll_takeover

    Comment sections are on their way out

    In 2007, when I launched my first website, our comment section was central to the product. We scrutinized every detail of it. We incessantly debated the interactions — should we allow ‘up’ and ‘down’ votes? — and considered “comments per article” to be a major KPI. Back then, a discussion of websites’ comment sections felt like a bunch of sixteen year olds talking about their cars. “Mine is the best — check out the way we elegantly nest the response…
  15. global-warming-sad-polar-bear

    Microsoft cuts ties with right wing climate change deniers ALEC. But what about Facebook, Google, and Yelp?

    It might come as a surprise to liberal-leaning observers, but Microsoft, a corporation known for its efforts toward environmental stability, has been working with the American Legislative Executive Council (ALEC), acting as a member of its Communications and Technology Task Force. Since that relationship was struck, groups devoted to sustainability efforts, corporate responsibility, and equal rights have taken issue with this arrangement. After all, the right wing public policy group, which (surprise!) is backed by the oil and gas magnates Charles and David Brothers, have a…
  16. dentonpie

    Judge green-lights class action suit by former Gawker interns

    Bad news for Gawker: A judge has agreed that a group of its former unpaid interns are entitled to bring a class action suit over their treatment while working at Nick Denton’s gossip factory. In her ruling (embedded below), Judge Alison J. Nathan has granted the plaintiffs’ motion for conditional class certification. The ruling means that the interns who initially brought the suit can now issue a notice inviting other former unpaid Gawker workers to join the suit. Here’s Judge Nathan’s…
  18. plouffe-articleLarge

    Uber hires former Obama advisor (and shady telecoms consultant) David Plouffe to lead insurgent war

    The word “hypocrite” is so ugly, don’t you think? So much more so than “pragmatist.” In unrelated news, Uber founder Travis Kalanick has further cemented his reputation as a grotesque pragmatist by hiring former Obama advisor David Plouffe as Senior Vice President of Policy and Strategy. According to the Wall St Journal, Plouffe’s role will be “to help the taxi-hailing app win battles with regulators and soften its image in the public sphere.” To the untrained eye, Plouffe’s role…
  19. elsewhere

    Book Review: Jamie Bartlett’s “The Dark Net”

    The New Scientist has an excellent book review of Jamie Bartlett’s “The Dark Net.” A scholar studying the intersection of violence, extremism, and social media, Bartlett writes, “I came to realise that the unspoken truth about the dark net… is that everything is close to the surface.” [Source: New Scientist]
  20. Google Door

    What the hell is happening at Google Ventures?

    Sure Google loves the almighty algorithm, but does it love it so much that it actually thinks it can have a venture firm without a committed, stable partnership of flesh and blood humans? With a revolving door at Google Ventures over the last year, it’s a valid question. It’s also a question that Google is going to have to answer for itself now that two of the most visible members of that team – former Digg and Milk co-founder Kevin…

The Week in Review